My Racing Week: 09/11/15


As detailed in today’s Daily Members Report it was a great week for ‘the portfolio’ – pulling in +55.75 points if you just backed everything – 40 bets / 9 winners. I know many of you use the systems as a guide, so hopefully you may have even avoided some of the 19 or so losers to improve results further. The ‘Shortlist’ found three winners at 16/1, 10.75/1 (after R4) and 10/1 to pull in +30.75 points. All were found using my stats guide. I know from some of the comments last week that a few of you found many more winners on top of that using ‘Trainer Track Profiles 2015/16), all at decent prices, so well done. (there is a link below if you have yet to grab your copy)

So, a decent week but I shall not get ahead of myself. Inevitably the systems will fluctuate and all I care is that they are profitable over time – as with everything. I have said before but it would be nice if over a season the collective portfolio approach could average +20 points a month say – I think most of us would be happy with that.



There were 3 chasers that caught my eye last week for various reasons, that could be worth keeping at eye on..

Ziga Boy – well I tipped him at Exeter where he was pulled up – thankfully Venetia Williams ensured we still backed a 12/1 winner in the race. He is young and unexposed and showed moments of potential last season, including a decent win at Wincanton in a C3 handicap chase. He jumped and travelled really well here – maybe too well and he was a bit fresh. He made lengths up on some horses when jumping and his jockey consistently had to restrain him behind the leaders. This possible freshness and lack of a run – in this heavy ground – took its toll as they turned for home where he just had nothing left – like a few in the race he was pulled up. He could come on for this and I will be interested in him on his next few starts. He was put in some long distance races last season but for now 24-26F, probably not in a bog, would look ideal. He still has a fair bit in hand I suspect.

Val D’Arc – he was with Phillip Hobbs but after disappointing a few times moved to Richard Hobson. He has had two chase runs for him now and shown promise on both of those. He has only had 9 runs and only 4 chase starts. Here at Warwick he bumped into a ‘good’un’ who won as he pleased. But, there was a massive gap back to the rest – albeit they may not have amounted to much. He liked to lead and bowl along and his jumping was good here. On the evidence of his last two runs he will be winning races. The trainer is 3/17, 10 places with all of his runners in 2015 to date – so, he knows what he is doing, and I dare say the price of his horses are bigger than what they should be because many don’t recognise him – a bit like S Edmunds and S Earle who have been doing well with their runners.

Kilmainham – he ran in the Novice Handicap chase at Hexham where the horse I tipped up at 9/2 was backed into 6/4, never travelled and ran like a 20/1 shot. This horse looked like he was coming to win there when he unseated at the last. To my eye he looks like he would have won and out-stayed his rival up the run in. This is only his 5th run for this trainer and only his 5th chase start. He ran more than 20 times over hurdles which may explain why it is taking him some time to learn to jump a fence – that unseat may do him some good. Clearly he is no world beater but if his trainer can find another poor race for him, he won be too far away. He stays 24f and looks like he handles some cut.

There was also one Flat Horse…

Giant Spark – I put him up in the Shortlist at 16/1. He drifted to 33/1 and very nearly won – running on late for a decent 3rd placed effort. A few more yards and he could well have reeled them in. This was his first handicap run, and he is a massive horse. He is young and clearly has plenty of growing to do. He raced on the wrong side here as well – he had to track over onto what was perceived to be the better ground and he had no horses to help take him into the race. He was also a bit green still, as you may expect. He looks like he hits the ground hard to no wonder they have ran him in soft. He is one of real interest next year and it would be no shock were his trainer to get a few wins out of him at C6/5/4 level over the next few seasons. One to watch hopefully. 



An Age-Old Problem 

I always like to reflect on my own betting and especially my ‘tipping’ – It is fair to say that I have backed a few too many older horses this season in chases, when there have been a few too many unexposed horses in a race. I should really learn my lesson. Horses aged 10+, or even 9+, are not going to be getting better – the hope is that they repeat one of their best performances of recent times and that this is enough to win. That is more likely if the race is full of other more exposed types – but is much harder when there is even just one horses in the race who looks progressive.

I suppose this was summed up with my bet on Alfie Spinner – yes I thought he would run better than he did and I can’t see an obvious excuse. But, the race was packed full of unexposed horses – 3 of which finished in the places – and it clearly was asking too much for them all to fail. Having said that, two of my best wins last jumps season were Oscar Time (33/1) and Wayward Prince (33/1) – The Beecher and Scottish National are two unique races though where experience can count for plenty. So, as always nothing is ever black or white – but I really should be paying more attention to the unexposed or mildly progressive horses – which does sound obvious I know – but I have been guilty of ignoring this at times. Maybe one way forward, especially in a ‘big race’ is to always have an unexposed horse onside, even if you do like an older one. A bit like a sprint handicap when you are unsure of where the pace/better ground is, picking a horse from either side of the draw. 

King Fontaine, Roalco De Farges, Mwaleshi, Alfie Spinner have all been backed by me, are aged at least 10, and have all been rather poor – each race a younger horse,one on an upward trajectory/or not fully exposed, has won. 

Having had a quick look at the stats in handicap chases – it is no surprise that as the horses get older, the win strike rate decreases and so does the A/E figure – they increasingly under-perform against market expectations. 



The guys at Cleeve Racing asked me to write a guest post for their members – my usual trainer/stats based piece I like to do before any well established meeting. (think their members will have access to it on Thursday) That approach has served me well in the last few months, and will hopefully do so again. I am not sure as yet how much I can share of that piece and whether I will repeat the whole thing later in the week- but I will use any relevant stats for any shortlisting etc. 

However, I am going to share what promises to be a gem of a micro system that I discovered while doing the research – if history repeats itself we are going to have a lot of fun next weekend…

The Rules 

  • Cheltenham Handicap at Open/Paddy Power Meeting
  • NO Odds Cap (trainers below are 1/10, 5 places over 14/1 with these runners)
  • Horse Wins in a Handicap: 0 (ie unexposed,yet to show full hand)
  • Trainers: P Hobbs / Paul Nicholls / David Pipe
  Bets Wins Win% P/L(SP) Places Place% Races Race% ROI(SP) P/L(BF) P/L(Plc) A/E
ALL 55 16 29.09 92.25 33 60 32 50 167.73 127.28 58.16 2.38
2014 14 7 50 50.5 10 71.43 8 87.5 360.71 64.88 20.75 4.29
2013 14 2 14.29 20 9 64.29 6 33.33 142.86 35.79 23.7 1.45
2012 12 3 25 13 5 41.67 7 42.86 108.33 14.7 1.06 1.91
2011 6 2 33.33 4.75 3 50 4 50 79.17 6.56 0.11 1.68
2010 9 2 22.22 4 6 66.67 7 28.57 44.44 5.34 12.55 2.13

Hobbs: 11 bets / 4 wins / 7 places / 36% SR / +43 SP

Nicholls: 25 bets / 6 wins / 12 places / 24% SR / +23.75 SP (4/5 with chasers – 2/20 hurdlers)

D Pipe: 19 bets / 6 wins / 14 places / 31.58% SR / +25.5 SP

(a few have gone close at big prices, and all of theirs over 14/ have been worthy of EW support, esp when 4/5 places up for grabs in these big field handicaps) 

Same rules, other trainers of interest:

  • Tom George: 1/4, 2 places
  • OMeara: 1/1
  • Mulholland: 1/2, 1 place
  • NTD: 1/7, 2 places


That’s it from this week’s piece, hopefully plenty there for you to get stuck into. I am tracking the ‘Eye Catchers’ and plan on highlighting them when they run etc – However, I am prone to the odd error (ie missing them say) so if you do want to track them, add them in to your own tracker to make sure. 

As always, comments, thoughts, ideas, tales of punting success etc etc are always welcome. 



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